In all my years of travelling and having stayed in many quality hotels, I’ve never felt the need to write a Trip Advisor review, until now that is.
On behalf of my wife and I, I’d like to thank all the staff at Elewana’s Sand River Camp for making our stay just perfect. We stayed for four days/three nights at the camp in November as part of our Honeymoon. The level and quality of service left me feeling compelled to write a review. For anyone considering a safari trip, rest assured look no further than this place.
From the moment we touched down at the airstrip in the Masai Mara we were greeted by the camps Guide and Driver (Newton and Muregi) with smiles, a cold refreshing face towel, cold drinks and light snacks, just perfect after a long journey from Scotland! This welcome set the standard for the rest of the stay. On arrival at the camp, again another warm and sincere greeting from Tim and the Team, then offered a cool drink as we went through a very efficient check-in thanks to Brian at reception.
For anyone concerned at the thought of sleeping in a tent, rest assured the accommodation is nothing but luxury. The tents are a great size, very tastefully decorated and every possible need catered for, there was even hot water bottles in the drawer if required! And as for the bed, well, yet again quality on a LARGE scale. Waking up to the sound of the animals in the bush is much more pleasant than an alarm clock! We never thought we would use it, but the free-standing bath was amazing, a great way to unwind after a day out in the jeep and experiencing the ‘African Massage’ from the bush trails first hand.
While on the subject of game drives, the experience we had was nothing short of amazing, far better than we had hoped for! The knowledge, experience and professionalism that Newton and Muregi possess, meant that we were able to see not just ‘The Big Five’ that everyone goes on about, but we witnessed a young male lion moments after capturing a zebra, a leopard stalking and then killing a wildebeest, another lion chasing the pack of zebra/wildebeest and a lioness with four tiny cubs. I have to disagree with one of the previous reviews about the effectiveness of having a Guide AND Driver as opposed to a single being apparently more focussed. I believe that one of the benefits of staying at Elewana’s Sand River Camp was that while out on the game drives we had both a Guide and Driver looking out for and spotting animals, this was unique compared to ALL the other jeeps from surrounding lodges/camps/hotels we passed while out in the bush, they simply had one driver which meant there would be a reduced chance of spotting game simply because it was one less pair of skilled eyes game spotting (let’s face it driving those trails is a challenge in itself never mind trying to spot animals at the same time!). Also, I’d have to disagree with the review about the standard of vehicle used for the drive, at least on our visit in early November it was perfect, again, far better than most others we seen out in the bush, the Toyota Land Cruiser allowed for viewing/taking photos either out of the side windows or to stand and take in the views/photos out the top of the roof (which had a canopy for protection from the sun/rain). As someone that is passionate about their photography, I couldn’t fault the jeep (my tip use a beanbag or monopod if using a larger lens).
Both my wife and I were blown away at the quality of food produced and the service whilst at the camp. The standard was set during our first meal; fillet steak for lunch – amazing! There was a choice of three starters, three mains and three deserts each afternoon and evening. Plus the breakfast choices each day set you up for the early morning game drive. I think there were about twelve different choices, ranging from continental to a full-cooked breakfast. My personal favourite was the French toast with caramelised apples. Thank you again to Anthony our Chef during our stay, who on a couple of occasions came to talk to use and check we were enjoying the food, a nice touch. And a big thank you to Elias our Waiter for each meal; without doubt one of the finest and most attentive Waiters we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Sadly his snooker skills don’t match up to his professional skills, I think I’m currently winning 4 games to 2.....
We were truly sad to leave on our last morning and we would like to thank everyone at the Camp for making our first (and hopefully not the last) trip the Kenya such a special one. With the levels of service and quality of accommodation, this place, all be it still relatively new, is definitely somewhat a hidden gem but this won’t last for long and the Camp will only go from strength to strength.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Opened on July 1st 2013, the Elewana Collection is delighted to announce the introduction of its first bush camp in Kenya – Sand River Masai Mara.Located on the banks of a river from which it has taken its name, Sand River Masai Mara is located within the Masai Mara National Reserve, close to the Tanzanian border.Situated on a secluded and picturesque site, Sand River Masai Mara replicates the heyday of exclusive permanent tented camps of the late 1920’s. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sand River Masai Mara Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve